Gellner, Hedwig

הדוויג גלנר
Hedwig Gellner was born in 1887 in Žatec (Czech Republic) and died in the late 1980's in Tel-Aviv. Hedwig grew up in a family of nine children. Among her siblings were Julius Gellner (one of the most famous German-speaking theatre directors in the 1920's) and Rudolf Gellner (his son was Ernest André Gellner, who was a British-Czech philosopher and social anthropologist). The Gellner family moved in 1897 to Saaz and in 1910 to Prague, where Hedwig spent the interwar period. At this time, she was a member of the Zionist girl's club and the head organizer of the Zionist office (presumably the representation of the World Zionist Organization or the so-called Palestine Office 'Palästina-Amt' which took care of candidates for Aliyah). In 1919, Hedwig started working with Jewish refugees for the JDC, and during an international welfare conference that took place in Prague she met the heads of the Zionist delegation that influenced her to immigrate to Palestine. In 1921, she accompanied a group of Jewish orphans from Ukraine to their relatives in the US, where she stayed and studied social work. In 1923, Hedwig immigrated to Palestine together with her sister Tony. First, she was appointed by the British mandatory committee for new immigrants to help young Jewish girls to resettle in Palestine. Later, she headed the child care department and later developed and headed the social work department in Tel-Aviv between 1934-1948. She also studied the field of occupational training for women. In 1946, she represented the Zionist leadership in a gerontology conference in London. After 1948 she was appointed as the national coordinator between the youth rehabilitation department and international organizations such as the red cross, UNRA and UNICEF. She was also appointed to head the research department of the ministry of welfare. After her official retirement in 1956 she continued to volunteer with WIZO and with the international organization for social aid. She was affiliated to Mapai Party (the worker's party in Israel).
Anna Hindel Gellner (born Löbl) (1855-1927)
Max Gellner (born 1854)
Dr. Otto Gellner (1884-1942)
Friedrich Gellner (1886-1949)
Elsa Wareham (1889-1971)
Rosa Benisch (born 1891)
Antonie Reinsch born (1893)
Wilhelm Gellner (born 1895)
Rudolf Gellner (born 1897)
Julius Gellner (1899-1983)
no marriage
Age at Migration
Year of Migration
Archival Materials
Municipal Archives, Tel-Aviv; Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem; Levon Archive
Other Sources
Halpern A (2018). ‘Social Work Pioneers in Mandatory Palestine', In Gal J & Holler R (Eds.), Not Charity but Justice. Ben Gurion University press (Hebrew); Razi, T (2009) 'Forsaken Children: The Backyard of Mandate Tel-Aviv.' Tel Aviv (Hebrew)